CHICKEN OUT… Squid’s preference is unabashedly for shrimp, not eggs, but Squid is still wearing Squid’s T-shirt that reads “Salinas Loves Chickens.’’ It’s to support Charlie the Cuttlefish, a friend with a taste for omelettes who was devastated after Salinas City Council dismissed – again – a chicken ordinance. Charlie will keep on keeping three hens named Fluffy, Molly and Daisy without proper documentation.

Oddly Salinas, an agricultural center, doesn’t allow chicken-keeping, while neighboring cities – including Marina, Monterey, Seaside, Greenfield, Soledad – are chicken-friendly. Salinas’ proposed ordinance comes with a $150 one-time fee, a hens-only rule, requirements for secure enclosures and low-density residential properties of at least 5,500 square feet.

Council’s Dec. 7 reconsideration of a chicken ordinance came a little over a year after the last attempt failed. But instead of voting, council asked for the ordinance to come back in January.

Among the concerns raised: Whether code enforcement has enough manpower to enforce a chicken ordinance, and the Salinas Police Department’s fear that calls reporting illegal chickens will increase. While city officials sort all of this out, Charlie the Cuttlefish has a different worry while council dances round and round the issue: The eggs are getting cold.

LIE DETECTOR… Though Squid was an avid student growing up, Squid didn’t necessarily get through all the assigned reading – some books were just duds. But one novel that definitely left an impression was George Orwell’s 1984, which gave Squid a useful primer for the dystopian reality of today’s disinformation cesspool: “War is peace” and “ignorance is strength,” amirite?

That book is on Squid’s mind because of a press release the city of Seaside sent out Dec. 16, following a 4-1 vote by City Council to pass an ordinance to kneecap state Senate Bill 9, a new housing law intended to help alleviate the state’s spiraling housing crisis. That law will allow many more property owners to subdivide to build more housing.

Among the restrictions City Council approved, the most onerous and impactful was that any subdivided properties would have to be deed-restricted to low – or very low-income residents, which essentially makes it impossible for new housing to pencil out.

Yet, the city’s press release paints a rosy picture: “Seaside doubles down on small, affordable homes,” and then proceeds to make other Orwellian distortions, such as “the city of Seaside has decided to make affordable housing a priority.”

In fact, what Seaside is doubling down on are single-family homes, which are priced out of reach for any locals struggling to find housing. Squid may have skimmed through parts of Pride and Prejudice, but, fun fact: Squid has a very advanced sense of smell.

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